There goes the truce!

Trump opens ar­mistice visit to France with jab at Macron

Winnipeg Sun - - SHOWBIZ - JILL COLVIN and DAR­LENE SUPERVILLE

PARIS — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump wasted no time tak­ing a poke at his French host Fri­day as he ar­rived in Paris for events mark­ing the 100th an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice that ended the First World War, tweet­ing as he landed that Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron had made an “in­sult­ing” pro­posal to build up Europe’s mil­i­tary to counter the U.S., China and Rus­sia.

It was a clear sign that the “Amer­ica first” pres­i­dent was ready to chart his own course yet again as world lead­ers gath­ered to re­mem­ber the coali­tion that brought an end to the first global war.

Trump’s visit comes on the heels of midterm elec­tions in which Amer­i­cans de­liv­ered a split ref­er­en­dum on his pres­i­dency, keep­ing the Se­nate in his party’s con­trol but ced­ing the House to op­po­si­tion Democrats.

He met with Macron Satur­day for talks on top­ics that in­cluded Eu­ro­pean se­cu­rity, Syria and Iran.

As he ar­rived, Trump tweeted that Macron “has just sug­gested that Europe build its own mil­i­tary in or­der to pro­tect it­self from the U.S., China and Rus­sia. Very in­sult­ing, but per­haps Europe should first pay its fair share of NATO, which the U.S. sub­si­dizes greatly!”

Trump’s brief visit to Europe comes amid un­cer­tainty about the U.S. re­la­tion­ship with the con­ti­nent.

Trump has railed against trade deals with the Eu­ro­pean Union and has crit­i­cized some EU na­tions, in­clud­ing France, for not spend­ing enough to de­fence to sus­tain NATO, the decades-old Western al­liance formed as a bul­wark to Moscow’s ag­gres­sion.

Trump’s na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, John Bolton, said Fri­day in Paris that the U.S. was con­cerned about sta­bil­ity in Europe and that Trump was not shirk­ing from global en­gage­ment.

“I think the en­dur­ing les­son (of WWI) for the United States is that when you be­come a global power ... you have global in­ter­ests to pro­tect,” Bolton said. “Great world lead­ers (are) driven by na­tional in­ter­ests.”

For Sun­day’s ar­mistice an­niver­sary, Trump was to join world lead­ers at a cer­e­mony in the shadow of the Arc de Tri­om­phe.

“It should be a very beau­ti­ful pe­riod of time, the 100th an­niver­sary of the end­ing of World War I ...,” Trump told re­porters Fri­day.

SAUL LOEB/GETTY IMAGES

Don­ald Trump, left, speaks with Em­manuel Macron at the El­y­see Palace in Paris yes­ter­day.

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